Digital society, young people and decision makers: Wyred consultations

One of the partners of WYRED consortium, Youth for Exchange and Understanding, is consulting 180 young people taking part in University on Youth and Development on issues related to digital society.

What are their biggest concerns? What values should we have online? Do they feel that their voices are heard by decision makers and what are they demanding as young people from stakeholders for a better digital society?

Consultations are part of the revision process of WYRED Manifesto.

 

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The positives and the negatives of the cyberspace

Despite their young age, the Northern Ireland WYRED group of children is very clear-headed about the online world.

They were asked to share their thoughts on the positives and the negatives of the cyberspace and that is what came out.

They do like how easy it is to interact with their friends and families through, for example, FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp. No matter how far you are, these new means of communication make you able to stay in touch with the people you love.

“You can shop online”, a child says and “it is a great way to pass the time”.

The entire group agrees on it. The online world is very entertaining: you can listen to the music, watch video on YouTube and play online games with your friends.

The cyberspace also satisfies your curiosities: “I like being able to research on google”, “I like that I can see different places around the world and what they are like”, “It gives you an idea of other stuff that is going on around the world”.

Anyway, the children are not deceived by the bright side of the online world. On the contrary, they are aware of the risks hiding behind the computer screen.

They don’t like that personal information concerning them can be easily seen from people they don’t know. They feel their data are exposed to several dangers: “People can find your digital footprint and work out what websites you have visited”, “bad people can put a virus on your device”, “I don’t like that you can get hacked“.

These children don’t feel safe due to the the lack of privacy: “I don’t like that other people can be rude and see where you live”. They fear they can be tricked and, of course, the risk of Cyberbullying is just around the corner.

They can also run into some harmless trouble, such as lagging, a wifi that doesn’t work, or annoying and inappropriate ads coming on during a video.

 

 

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The Wyred Conference: a discussion on “Young People and Digital Society”

The Wyred Conference took place in Rome with the aim to present the results of the researches carried out through the project.
The guests invited to the Wyred conference express their points of view on the findings. Members of the academic world, journalists and representatives of the institutions were invited to the discussion on the topic “young people and digital society“.
To find out more on the Wyred conference and discussion, click here and watch the video on the Wyred YouTube channel!

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A Poem on Digital Implants

Jasmin, Anastasia and Patrik from Hertha-Firnberg-Schools in Austria decided to call attention to Digital Implants in an unusual way: they wrote a poem!

The objective of the poem is the sensitization of society for the dangers digital implants may have in the future.

For animals, especially for dogs, it is common practice to implant RFID
(Radion Frequency Identification) chips, in order to easily identify them when getting lost.

Humans use implants (in the size of rice grains) for an “easy” way to open car, house or office-doors, for e-banking, to access the mobile or to provide medical data in case of emergency. These chips are not too expensive and can even be implemented in a piercing-studio. But do we really want a future like that? Is surveillance the consequence of this form of convenience? These are the questions the YP rise in their focussed poem, which invites to reflection on this issue.

 

Roses are red,

implants are small,

we don’t know whether they’re

good at all.

What does the future hold,

Are we just being controlled?

Is surveillance the only goal?

Are we selling our soul?

Only the future will tell,

Well.

©  canstock photo

 

 

 

 

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WYRED Graffiti on a school wall in Israel

The Students of the “Hof Hasharon” regional school in Israel, part to the WYRED Project, expressed their frustration about the current education system, the high pressure and stress they feel.

“We feel that the the system does not really see us as individuals, and we are wasting time memorizing material that will not help us in the future…”, “We don’t want just to memorize and then to “throw up” the material”, thay said.

They decided to paint a Wyred Graffiti (painted on the school wall) to raise attention and awareness of the stressful situation that high school students experience.

Well done guys!

 

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TECCOM18 workshops on the WYRED platform

TECCOM18 workshops on the WYRED platform

A group of 80 young people of the first year of the Degree in Social Education at the University of Salamanca has collaborated in the development of pilot experiences of the WYRED platform.

In this case, and in the context of a subject in which conflict resolution is addressed, the students were divided into 12 groups to promote a series of social dialogues on topics that they considered to be of interest and that fit into the set of topics of the project.

The process of selection and configuration of the social dialogues began with the presentation of the proposed themes in a collaborative mural using Padlet (https://padlet.com). Once exposed in the classroom, with the purpose of guaranteeing the greatest possible variety of topics, the groups designated a partner who would act as a facilitator and who, later, would be responsible for inviting the rest of the classmates and setting up their own community in the community platform.

Students will discuss the chosen topic in their group for three weeks and will prepare a report in which the following aspects will be reflected:

  • Definition and description of the chosen topic.
  • To what extent the chosen theme affects them as young people.
  • Proposals to solve or improve the situation of the problem addressed.
  • Experience of use and proposal of improvement of the WYRED platform.

The topics chosen by the students cover the following aspects, among others: reasons for stress among young people; cyberbullying, sexting and other forms of digital humiliation; machismo and distorted image of women in the digital society; anonymity, privacy and digital identity; deep web; influencers, false myths and digital popularity.

The WYRED Delphi Study: some highlights

The objective of the Delphi study in WYRED was to identify and prioritize key areas of interest for young persons, and to provide additional insights regarding their involvement in decision making related to their concerns, attitudes and perceptions.

The Delphi method has been widely used in different areas, for the elicitation of experts’ opinions on a certain subject, by means of an iterative anonymous group interaction. It involves repeated (multi-round) polling, in each round feeding back anonymised responses from earlier rounds, so that respondents can re-consider their previous answers and submit new insights.

In the WYRED Delphi, the subject-matter experts were young people and relevant stakeholders. Therefore, we designed two surveys: one aimed at young people and one for stakeholders. Each survey was carried out in two rounds (in accordance to the Delphi method), and different questionnaires were developed for each.

The first round consisted of one closed question (rating the most important issues of concern for young people) and open questions about engagement of young people in decision making and the benefit to society of such engagement.

The second round consisted of closed questions formulated based on the results obtained in the first round.

The questionnaires were accessible online, in six languages according to the WYRED partner countries: English, Spanish, German, Italian, Hebrew and Turkish.

206 young people and 69 stakeholders from different countries took part in the 1st round. 260 young people and 89 stakeholders participated in the 2nd round.

A report with full results and detailed analysis will be published in September 2017. At the moment we briefly present some highlights:

Young people consistently attribute the highest importance to the issues of “self-image and self-confidence”, “tolerance to different cultures/opinions”, and “necessary changes in education”. One issue, mental wellbeing, which was added in the 2nd round (based on young people suggestions in the 1st round), is also perceived as very important.

 

 

 

 

The opinions of stakeholders regarding the most important issues is in general rather similar to young people, except one noticeable difference: they attribute much higher importance than young people to media literacy, namely the reliability of information on the internet and in social media. (This observation has been confirmed by some of the initial face-to-face social dialogues with young people carried out by the WYRED team).

Among potential ways to engage young people in decision making processes, the highest usefulness was attributed by young people as well as by stakeholders to “direct communication between young people and decision makers”, followed by “fostering active groups in schools/universities/workplaces and recognition of the activists”.

Most young people tend to believe that the society in the year 2030 will be better if their voice is heard by decision makers (interestingly, this tendency is significantly higher among female respondents). They believe that first and foremost it will be a fairer society (more tolerant, more equal, more open to different genders, cultures, religions, political opinions, controversial issues, etc.). Moreover, they think that the education system will improve and that young people will feel more confident, expressive and in control of their role and impact in the society they live in.

Regarding the question (only presented to stakeholders) how to ensure that decision makers take into account the views of young people, the highest usefulness was attributed to “strengthening the citizenship of young people so that they learn to exercise their right to evaluate the system and not evade it”, followed by “regular evaluation of decisions that affect young people and require their opinion”.

The results of the Delphi study provide interesting insights and valuable inputs to the subsequent stages of WYRED, in which the relevant topics will be explored further in more detail.

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WYRED Project in the 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction

Dr. Francisco J. García-Peñalvo, head of the research GRoup in InterAction and eLearning (GRIAL), University of Salamanca, and coordinator of H2020 WYRED Project, has organized the Special Session Emerging Interactive Systems for Education, in the scope of the 4th International Conference on Learning and Collaboration Technologies (LCT 2017) sub conference of the 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCII 2017), held in Vancouver, Canada in July 9-14, 2017.

The HCI International 2017 Conference is just about to kick off expecting around 1800 participants from 59 countries.

In this event, Dr. García-Peñalvo presented the paper entitled “Interaction design principles in WYRED platform” devoted to introduce the WYRED project and the platform to develop the most of the interactions among young people. This presentation is available at http://goo.gl/of6R3x.

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